New concept from restaurateurs behind Longoven, Lost Letter planned in Scott’s Addition

summit 1616 Cropped scaled

A four-story residential addition was previously planned for the 87-year-old building. (Mike Platania photo)

For a currently lifeless street corner in Scott’s Addition, condos are out and a restaurant is in. 

Last week plans were filed with the city to convert a vacant building at 1616 Summit Ave. for a new concept from the team behind restaurants Lost Letter and Lillian Oyster Hall. 

It’s a change of course for the small 0.1-acre plot. In 2021, local businessman and developer Brad Cummings, along with his wife, Tanya, and business partner Mark Rausch, filed plans to build four stories on top of the existing building, with each floor housing a 2,800-square-foot condominium. 

That project never got going, and the new plans show that the condo element is no longer being pursued. Instead, the group is looking to build a roughly 600-square-foot addition onto the rear of the existing building as part of a restaurant renovation. 

The tenant listed in the plans is AMP Restaurant Group, which is led by wife-and-husband Megan Fitzroy Phelan and Patrick Phelan. The duo rose to local prominence with their fine dining pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar concept Longoven, which they closed last year at 2939 W. Clay St. to make way for their Italian restaurant Lost Letter. 

Earlier this year they opened Lillian a few blocks to the south in Capital Square’s new “Gem” mixed-use development. The Phelans also had a hand in the launch of Nokoribi, the in-house Japanese restaurant in The Veil Brewing Co.’s Scott’s Addition taproom. 

8.25R Summit

A rendering of the previously planned condo development. (BizSense file photo)

It’s unclear what led to the decision to scrap the condo project, or what type of restaurant the Phelans are planning for 1616 Summit Ave. Both Brad Cummings and Patrick Phelan declined to comment at this time. 

Cummings has co-founded and invested in multiple local companies over the years, such as venture capital firm Trolley Venture Partners, wine distributor Free Run Wine Merchants and Southside food incubator Hatch Kitchen. He’s also dabbled in real estate development in Scott’s Addition, with projects like the office conversions of the former Conner Brothers Body Shop and McKinnon and Harris facility

Cummings’ group bought 1616 Summit Ave. in early 2020 for $500,000, city records show. It was once home to Longfellow Interiors Ltd. but has sat vacant for years. 

Once the addition for the restaurant is completed, the building will total around 2,000 square feet. Fultz & Singh Architects, Kimley-Horn, Evolv Engineering and ONeil Engineering Systems are listed on plans as part of the development team. A general contractor is not listed. 

Condos have been a rarity throughout Scott’s Addition’s boom over the last decade, as compared to the thousands of new apartments that have been built in the former industrial neighborhood. 

Local players Spy Rock Real Estate Group and StyleCraft Homes are the only ones to build new-construction condos in Scott’s Addition with their 134-unit Mason Yards development. Those units, which are being built in phases, start in the mid-$400,000s. 

The only other condos in the neighborhood is the 14-unit Summit Lofts at 1701 Summit Ave., which was an adaptive reuse development that wrapped 15 years ago. 

POSTED IN Commercial Real Estate

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Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
23 days ago

While I welcome the restaurant, I think it’s a shame those condos weren’t built. Scott’s addition would benefit from more condos like that.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
23 days ago

I agree Charles; I imagine that costs, scale, and interest rates played a part in making the small project just no feasible anymore.

Peter James
Peter James
23 days ago

Agreed, Michael. Indeed, small-scale developers simply don’t have the resources to either move forward against challenging economic headwinds or to simply sit on a project and wait it out like several of the deep-pocketed developers are doing on a number of large-scale projects across Richmond.

Really sad to see this little condo project get scuttled – I loved the design and the whole concept in general. As Charles indicated, having more condominium development in Scott’s would be a great boost to that part of town.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
23 days ago

I’m glad to see some of the entertainment venues remaining in place in Scotts Addition. It makes city living more diverse.

Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer
22 days ago

Had meat loaf,mashed potatoes and gravy in that bldg.years ago.